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Gillibrand pushes for federally mandated paid leave, sick days as part of new stimulus package

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand pushes for national paid family leave and sick days.
Screenshot of a zoom meeting
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand pushes for national paid family leave and sick days.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is joining fellow Democrats in Washington D.C., to push for federally mandated paid sick days and family leave to be a part of the next coronavirus stimulus package. 

The measure is also being backed by Senators Tammy Duckworth of Illinois and Patty Murray of Washington as well as Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut. 

The bill would require upwards of three months of leave at 66 percent of a person’s salary. Gillibrand said the bill adds much needed flexibility during the pandemic.

“The last COVID relief package made some progress in extending federal paid leave but loopholes, including those for the largest corporations in the world, left 75 percent of workers out,” said Gillbrand. “We have to do better.”

Gillibrand said the measure would go a long way toward making schools and businesses safer to open because sick workers could stay home without worrying about losing their pay. 

“No parent wants to send a sick child to school knowing that they will put their classmates in jeopardy,” said Gillibrand. “But if those teachers and parents cannot afford to stay home from work they may have no choice but to do exactly that and take that risk.”

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She blames President Donald Trump for putting Americans, especially students and teachers, in unsafe situations.

“Because the president is unable or unwilling to lead, we don’t have a national testing program, contact tracing system or even a national mask wearing policy,” said Gillibrand. “Now he wants teachers and students to be guinea pigs in a system that we know is not ready.”

She said the measure needs more support from Republicans to pass, and those conversations are ongoing.

James Brown is a reporter with WXXI News. James previously spent a decade in marketing communications, while freelance writing for CITY Newspaper. While at CITY, his reporting focused primarily on arts and entertainment.